Archive | May 2019

Buffaloed by Pipe Dreams

DSC_3034It has been about four years since my original visit to Wyoming.  I wanted to be super exited about this trip.  My photography skills had improved, I wasn’t taking the zone, it’s early enough in the season that it shouldn’t be busy, and overall it should just be a great trip.  That is what I thought.

I didn’t start in Wyoming.  I stopped in South Dakota to rest up because I was driving.  It should have only taken me half a day to get to Wyoming, but I took advantage of the time and it took me a good 12 or so hours to actually arrive.  Now for those that have not visited the Grand Tetons or Yellowstone, the majority of the campsites are first come-first serve.  Most are also not open very early in May, so I am thinking it is early enough that I can get a campsite and the parks won’t be busy….Yeah, I was wrong…so very, very wrong.
DSC_3041Since I didn’t get to the Tetons until well after 9 at night, it was too late to go to any of the three campgrounds that were open.  At the time, at least two of them had not filled yet.  Two of them were also in Yellowstone, which by the luck of all that is mine…were still a few hours away and I was exhausted but I was positive and thinking I got this. It will be fine.

I won’t whine about sleeping in my car, but I slept in my car which my body didn’t approve of.  I woke up early as I always do, so I headed for Yellowstone because I wanted to spend the day there.  It also contained two of the campgrounds and they were the cheapest out of the three that were open.  Thinking I still had time, I stopped at Old Faithful.  Some of you may remember that my first visit to Old Faithful was not fulfilling as he proved to unreliable after I stood around for hours waiting for him to go off which he never did.  He made up for it, but this is not about that.  He’ll be another day.  DSC_3050After Old Faithful, I took a hike and as I was finishing my loop this beautiful beast appeared.  I sat down on a log about two fancy RV’s away and eventually he wondered closer, but he was paying me no mind.  I snapped some pictures and decided to go to the convenient store across the way and grab some food since I had yet to eaten.
DSC_3045When I walked in I saw a restaurant of sorts and chose to eat there instead.   If you stop in Yellowstone, I recommend the Old Faithful Basin.  I cannot attest to their bison meat, but their regular burgers are pretty amazing.  With that said, after I finished I went on my way.

As I’m walking I see this undetermined figure at the time motioning to something.  I realize that this beauty was still lingering and made his way to a tree.  For some reason, this figure seemed focused on me. I don’t know why and I would have said otherwise until I took another couple of steps and the undetermined became a woman yelling at me that I was too close to the bison.  I assure my fellow blog readers, I was not.  I was still over a fancy RV and a half away and the farthest thing from his eyesight and his mind.  Ms. Yeller on the other hand, was barely a car length away and so was the guy standing the sidewalk adjacent from her, so why she was so fixated on me…I’ll never know.    Think she wasn’t?  I didn’t want to think so either.DSC_3053After spewing some things that I know she couldn’t actually hear like, “I’m not too close. I know what I’m doing,”  she turned and walked away.  As she was walking away I took another step and unbeknownst me, she had noticed and yelled at me to walk around.  Well, as I was walking around I noticed there was a guy literally two feet from Mr. Beauty’s hind side and yet I’m the one that she was worried about.

As I got closer, I realized that she was a ranger of sorts. I’m guessing a new ranger because I have never seen the rangers out there before and no one was yelling at me when I was a lot closer.  Now, I realize that she was just doing her job and I cannot truly knock her for that.  She didn’t know me and to her, I was just some dumb tourist with a camera.  But here’s a secret, folks, I may push my luck and I do but I never push it to the extent that I am disrespecting the animal or intentionally putting them, or myself, in danger.  If I am considerably too close, they came into my space…rarely the other way around.  I do get closer than the “rule” allows, but I maintain, watch, observe, and read.  I am usually not the problem.  And everyone that was involved this day, I was the least likeliest to be hurt.  Not to mention, if he had wanted to charge….it wouldn’t have mattered how far away any of us were.  DSC_3062So, after getting yelled at by Jr. Ranger…again, this time for stepping off the path for trying to get out of someone’s way, I had-had it with Old Faithful.  I decided to try and find the Yellowstone campgrounds, one of which was still and hour away and the other which was still more so than that.  I drove and drove and soon realized how mistaken I was that there wouldn’t be a crowd this time of year.   I also under estimated the number of trails that would actually be open for non-snow prepared hikers.  Hint:  none.  DSC_3067 I eventually found the first campground and it was now full.  I didn’t bother looking for the other two because what took me a short time to get took forever to get back to.  Between being the fixture of someone’s misplaced anger, traffic, construction, and bear traffic (not as exciting as it sounds and a story for another day) I was reaching my limitations.  I headed back to the Tetons where there was less snow, less rangers, and a tolerable amount of traffic.  DSC_3068Despite all of that, I made the most out of my time and got some decent pictures of this beautiful boy.  I never did get a campground, it became unworthy of the trouble.  I’d also decided that the next day would be my last day in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area.  Too many tourist for early May and too many people messing with my vibe.  It was time to move on.  I hope you think the pictures are worth it, though.  He’s one of the only things that made my day in Yellowstone worth it.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Angry Bird

DSC_3940I was excited about this trip.  Probably not to the extent that I should have been, but as it grew closer I was excited.  I was excited to hit the Tetons again.  I hadn’t been able to make the most out of it the first time and my photography skills had greatly improved and there were some animals waiting for me.  I wanted to see bears, moose, elk, coyotes, and funny looking birds.

I got my funny looking bird on my last morning there.  It hadn’t really been a good trip to this point.  The weather was less than desireable until I got to Wyoming, I had no campsite due to the whole “First come, first serve…OH SURPRISE, we are busy year around and it took you too long to get here.” thing and therefore I’d been sleeping in my car.  I was dirty, I was tired, I had a headache that wouldn’t quit, and I was pretty well over it at this point; especially, after the day before.  With that said, I was bound and determine to make the most of what I had decided was my last day in Wyoming and I head to Signal Summit.

I wanted to watch the sunrise as I had never found a good place for that the first time around.  I also really just liked the view from there.  Well, who was awaiting for me when I got to the view site….this guy.  The Dusky Grouse.  Dusky…how can you not love a bird with that name.

Much to my surprise, he didn’t really care that I was there.  He didn’t fly away.  He didn’t run away.  He just chilled making a low little call with all his might.  After a while he started flying off the post and landing on the ground, gawked around, and then would jump back on the post.  Let me tell you, those are some noisy wings.

Once I figured out he was the one making the noise I kept hearing, I also realized that I was also hearing it come from another direction.  It donned on me that he was calling to a mate, or potential mate, foe…another somewhere off in the wind.  He wasn’t in any real hurry to find it.   He actually seemed a little irritated that he was having to call for the other.  Kind of like a father that had to call for his child one too many times.  I don’t know that this was the actually case, but the storyteller in my was having fun making up stories.

Mr. Dusky hung out with me for quite some time before scurrying by me and down the mountain side.  I don’t know if he ever found what he was looking for, but he made my list so there is that.
DSC_3946
Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Spirit Animal

DSC_5682.jpgI am not a fan of the gawker crowd.  The people that gather in the masses to stare at the animals, because this is all new to them and they know that it is a rare opportunity.  I get why they do it, but as I said-they usually gather in the masses and make it hard to get to views of the animals.  However, with that said…if it wasn’t for the gawker crowd, I would miss out on some of the beauties.  When you are alone and driving, it is not always easy to see the bear that is further down the hill or the beautiful coyote that is running along  relentlessly.

I probably would have seen her eventually, but had it not been for the car that had stopped to watch her, I might not have seen her as in time to catch some of the moments I witnessed.   I probably also would have missed the fact that she sneaked up behind me when I thought I had lost her in the field.  So, I am always thankful for the gawkers, but more so when they disperse and it is just me and the beautiful beast.

With that said, this beautiful beast was running down one of the main roads in the Grand Tetons.  She was relentlessly moving, searching.  She would only stop briefly.  Some of the shots that will come later, well, those would be the longest she held still.  This series is the firs time I’ve been able to truly catch a coyote.  Normally, they are on the run, too far away, or I’m so baffled that they are there that it takes me a second to realize it and by then it is just too late.

This is also the first time that I found myself in an animal.  That sounds weird, but I just can’t think of words I’d rather use.  This whole trip, I just kept waiting for that ah-ha, relishing moment that I’ve had on my other trips.  The first time was the deer on Little Devil’s Tower Trail, then the mountain goat, the buffalo that followed me.  Moments that just left me feeling light and airy, refreshed, hopeful.  I just hadn’t experienced it yet and honestly…I never really did, but this girl…I found I related with what I saw.

It was the fact that she was running endlessly, tirelessly, searching.   Maybe she knows why, maybe she doesn’t.  I’m sure she did.  In her case she was searching for food, fuel…I would think it would be safe to assume.  Me…I’m still searching for the fuel I think.  That is a story for another time, a cup of tea, and a conversation of deep and philosophical revelations.

I am not ready to share my favorite photos of her.  Just this one for now.  I did very minimal editing to it.  I needed to be minimal with it.  That is all I will say for now.  I hope that you like it.

Until the next time, I have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Wild Horses

DSC_0140 (2)Everyone who follows my blog knows how much I love horses. For those that are new, I love horses.  Actually, I love all animals.  I have the most access to horses and the zone (the dog that runs the household).

Anyway, the soul purpose of this trip was to camp, get my head on straight, and see wild horses.  There is a batch of wild horses out in Colorado and so I had decided I was ending with them.  I had debated on starting with them, but I wasn’t sure the actual plan for this trip.  There were so many things that I wanted to see and one thing I absolutely did not want to see….Chicago.

The mountains had been calling my name, so my original idea was to head to Wyoming (Yes, I could have gone to the Rockies, but Wyoming has been on my mind).  Wyoming is quite the drive from here so I wanted to stop in South Dakota and get my rest on.  South Dakota was…well, I love my Black Hills animals, but I think that this part of South Dakota and myself have done all we can do for each other.  I was bound and determined to make the best out of it.

One of the two days that I spent there, I chose to drive by the Wild Horse Sanctuary.  I hadn’t scheduled a tour and I wasn’t even sure of their off season hours, but there were four beautiful babies just off the main road that I hadn’t really gotten to see the first time.  These four babies are only a small part of the tour, because of the fact that they live in a different sanctuary.  I am not even sure if they are a part of the actual tour, but the tour guide I had last year was amazing and showed me everything that these could.

With that said, here is a sneak peak of one of the beauties.  The truth is, I cannot remember is name.  I want to say Bucky…maybe?  There is only one whose name I can remember and it is kind of obvious.  When I get to him, you will be like, “Oh, yeah…”.    I think that there is one more obvious one, but I can’t remember the fourth name.   Either way, I am pretty sure this is Bucky….which also means, it probably isn’t.

I love the eyes of an animal, so for now this is all you get.  I hope you like it.

Until the next time, have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Ros Photography

Off the Beaten Path

DSC_9824Hey, all!  I guess it has been quite some time since my last post.  I’ve sat down many times to do one, I’ve had the pictures to do so…I just haven’t had the heart for it.   I’ve tried to log on and read blogs, but I’ve failed at that too.  I guess that I just needed some time away.  I don’t really know why, just did.

With that said, I thought that I would start my post with this.  The first major DSLR picture that I did, that I really liked, was an old truck that was hidden off the beaten path in a park that I used to walk in Ohio.  This is not it and maybe I will dig through my files and find them but for now you get this car.  A car amongst the “ghost town” hidden in the Black Hills.  It was one of several old cars, so yes you will be seeing more…a lot more because for some reason I was fascinated with photographing old cars this trip.  I was fascinating with so many things.

I was obsessed with photographing to be honest.  I came back with a ridiculous amount of pictures. I know I have said that before, but this time….it puts all the rest to shame.  I am unable to clear off my SD cards because my laptop is out of space and so are the external hard drives I have on hand.  Before you say it, it is time for a new one and it is on the to do list but for now, the first set of pictures has been transferred so we will play with those for a while.

I will keep this blog relatively short.  I will be taking a different path with some of the future blogs.  As always, I’m not really sure what that means or really what that is going to look like.  I am hoping that it will be an improvement that you like what you see.  I appreciate anyone who has stuck around and those that are new.  You all rock and I hope you stay for the rest of the ride.

Some probably think that I should talk about what I did to the picture since this is a photography blog.  Those that have stayed know that really isn’t my thing.  I just take the pictures and then do what I need to do to make it something that I would like to share.  I added filters to this gem, because it was just not the scene I would have liked.

For this picture, I was in the Black Hills.  I had checked the weather before I left and it was supposed to be sunny and relatively nice.  Not overly warm but not cold either…well, the weather lied to me.  It ended up being in the low thirties and I was exploring the said ghost town, it started snowing.  Trip was already off to a great start.  I’ll save those stories for another day.

Since it was snowing, there was no sun and I was kind of in a realm of surrounding trees.  There was a car directly behind this and it just wasn’t easy to get the shot that I would envision for this car but I think that I made it work.  I used my kit lens 18-55, which I never-ever do.  I cannot remember the last time I intentionally used that lens, but it got it workout this trip.  Maybe too much….again, a story for another day.  I am really glad that I used that lens as it really worked for the environment that I had to work with.  Anyway, I pulled this up for editing and it just needed something that simple editing wasn’t going to do and with that, I added a few filters until I got the effect that I wanted.  I like the way that it turned out and I hope that you do to.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography